With hundreds of students passing through campus every day, Public Safety officers make sure they do everything they can to keep the campus safe.
“It’s a comprehensive approach. We use all the little tools in the tool bag, such as cameras, a radio system, talking to students and educating them on safety,” said Fred Aliberti, director of Public Safety.
One of Public Safety’s main features are the cameras. With over 250 cameras on campus, the officers are able to monitor everything that goes on.
“Our cameras are certainly part of the whole picture. They enable us to keep an eye on things, so if we have to respond, we can respond quickly,” said Aliberti. “The biggest asset the cameras have are when we can research back and find incidents that happen.”
The camera system features different camera groupings that allow officers to track certain areas of the campus more easily. “The officers might want to look at the main quad area. They pick certain groupings that are appropriate to focus on,” said Aliberti.
With all the cameras they have, Public Safety does keep them up-to-date and makes sure they are maintained to work effectively.
“We try to change out the old cameras every year within the budget. We just put in new cameras around the B Lot this year,” said Aliberti.
Public Safety does not feel that there is a specific area on campus that is unsafe or unsecure, though they feel the parking garage presents a higher chance for something to happen unseen, especially at night.
“I look at the parking garage. When we designed that five years ago, I said ‘make sure we put all the lights possible in there and at night time, that garage is very well lit,’” said Aliberti.
Being alone also leaves students more vulnerable according to Aliberti.
“We try to give as much attention to all our areas as best as possible. In general, whether you’re on campus or somewhere else, if you’re in an isolated area, that could technically be considered unsafe,” he said.
Public Safety also wants students taking night classes to know that they are available to anyone who might want to be walked or escorted to their car.
In addition to making students aware of the big things on campus, Public Safety’s goal is to try and remind students about the little things like cell phones. A lot of times, cell phones get reported as missing, so one tip Public Safety has to prevent permanently losing a cell phone is to get a Find Your Phone feature. This allows them to go in the system and track the phone down.
Another thing Public Safety stresses is driver safety. Officers do issue tickets, but generally try to remind students to not rush or drive fast. It is also important to watch for students walking out from behind cars in the parking lots and crossing the road.
With all the shootings that have happened on college campuses lately, Hudson Valley wants to share a prevention presentation called “Run, Hide, Fight.” They will be letting students know about this and showing it to groups.
“We are doing a presentation about active shooter preparedness. Everyone has been hearing about all the shootings on campus, so we looked around and found this one video from Houston,” said Aliberti. “We want to prepare the slides, present it and get some really good discussion.”
For more information on Public Safety and the services they offer, you can find them on their website at hvcc.edu/publicsafety.